Honey & Spice – Makes Oat Nice

2016. It is January, truly. Temperature, 4C. Christmas tree skeleton awaiting its final destiny. Boxes filled with decorations until an energetic person is willing to climb the attic stairs. Ah, bleak January. But we love you too. You allow us to get back into our routine. We are taking a reality check. And of course, we all have good intentions for the new year. It will be better, I will be better than any other year before. Really….?
Honestly, it is quite simply to be and do better. First, the Detox. My common sense advice for cleansing: When we don’t consume the “bad” stuff (sugar, processed food, alcohol…), our amazing body does all the work by itself. Voila! Detoxed.
To step it up a notch, we can choose real good stuff instead. One favorite not only of mine, but in Ireland has to be THE OAT. Porridge. Let us have a closer look at it. What is it?
Oat is a cereal plant. It is grown for its seed. In comparison to other cereals, it’s best grown in temperate regions like our own, with our cool and wet summers. Also, oat grows quite fast and thus has the ability to outgrow weeds. As well as having a good pest resistance and nutrient absorption ability, the use of chemical pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers is minimal. Quite ideal for organic growing it seems. An Irish grower I discovered is Pat Lalor of Kilbeggan Organic Foods located in Ballard, Co. Westmeath. ( www.kilbegganorganicfoods.com )

What I like a lot about companies like this is their transparency, openness to visitors and willingness to share their expertise. There is a lot of information on oat growing, nutrition and uses on their website. Have a browse and a look at this little video of “Ear to the Ground”.


Another interesting website to take a browse on is www.eatmoreoats.com
It even has a timeline of the grain’s history. One of these time stamps in particular caught my attention:
Oats deemed health food on  Mon, 31 Dec 1984 19:00:0
Oats are boosted to “health food” status by research suggesting that the beta glucans, which are water-soluble fibers present in oat bran, inhibit cholesterol and thus help prevent heart disease.
This is a piece on cholesterol from their site:
Cholesterol and Heart
Benefits of eating oats on cholesterol and heart
Oatmeal and oat bran are significant sources of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. One component of the soluble fibrer found in oats is beta-glucans, a soluble fiber which has proven effective in lowering blood cholesterol. Here’s how it works. Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract, forming a gel that traps some substances related to cholesterol, such as cholesterol-rich bile acids. This entrapment reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. The bad cholesterol, LDL, is trapped without lowering good cholesterol (HDL). Oats and grains are also one of the best sources of compounds called tocotrienols. These are antioxidants which together with tocopherols form vitamin E inhibit cholesterol synthesis and have been found to lower blood cholesterol. The accumulation of cholesterol is implicated in many types of cardiovascular disease. Oats, like all cholesterol-lowering agents, are most effective when consumed as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet taken together with plenty of exercise. The beneficial health effects of oats are best if ½-1 cup (1½-3 ounces) of oats are eaten every day. One study found that the 1/10th ounce (3 grams) of soluble fiber from this amount of oatmeal decreased total cholesterol by approximately 2%, which correlates to a 4% decrease in coronary artery disease. Another study showed 1½ ounces (43 grams) of oatmeal resulted in a loss of 3% in total cholesterol and a 14% reduction in bad cholesterol after two months. Another study found that a 6-8 week diet of 1½-3 ounces (43-85 grams) of oat bran daily lowered total cholesterol by 20% and bad cholesterol (LDL) by as much as 25%. Another study found 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of oat bran (one-third of a cup of oat bran eaten twice a day) lowered cholesterol up to 15%. New research has also discovered that the antioxidants found in oats reduce cholesterol by reducing the ability of blood cells to stick to the inside of artery walls. So in other words, eat a cup of oats a day and you’ll be okay!

Personally, oat bran is my favourite. I use it as a “cheat food”, when I really crave carbohydrates and something warm, filling and fulfilling. Oat bran consists mainly of soluble fiber. So when those dark evening cravings raise their head, that’s what I go for. To make it a little more tasty, I add a pinch of nutmeg and about a quarter of ground cinnamon. If I really need a sweet kick, I will add Xylitol, a plant derived sweetener that does not raise your blood sugar. You will often see this in conventional chewing gums nowadays, as it is also considered good for our teeth. And diabetics can use it too. And of course, a pure and raw honey is the finest ingredient to add. Gotta love honey.


Here are some links to fabulous and super value oat products available form our online shop:

Oatflakes Jumbo Oatflakes Bobs Red Mill Oat Bran G/F Bobs Red Mill Rolled Oats G/F A. Vogel Avena Sativa Tincture A. Vogel Ginsavena Tincture

Several more to explore!


My blogs are designed for easy reading of topics that inspire, fascinate or amuse me. If you’d like to add to this or ask us anything, we would love your comments. And when in Cahersiveen, make sure to call in,